The Google Pixel 6a is the latest smartphone release from the technology behemoth, and it's had a huge amount of hype and coverage surrounding its launch – most notably for its affordable price, rather than any groundbreaking features.
Of course, just because a phone is cheap, that doesn't automatically make it one of the best camera phones (opens in new tab) out there, and we already know that the Pixel 6a's cameras aren't the highest spec.
The Google Pixel 6a (opens in new tab) is available to buy now with some great deals, and it even comes with a pair of Google Pixel Buds A-Series (worth £99.99) if you order at the Google Store by August 1. But other than the tempting $449/£399/AU$749 price, why should you buy Google’s newest Pixel 6 family member? Let's take a look...
1. It comes with Google Tensor chip
The Google Pixel 6 (opens in new tab) is a stripped down, cheaper, version of the Google Pixel 6 Pro (opens in new tab) and the Pixel 6a is a stripped down, cheaper still, version of the Pixel 6. Amazingly though, the Pixel 6a still comes with many of the headline specifications found on its beefier big brothers.
The most impressive of these is same Google Tensor chip (as seen in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro). Benchmarking tests have shown strong upper-mid-range results with it doing best in the range of AI features that it facilitates, many of which are in the camera department.
2. You get a native Android experience
As Google developed the Android operating system, a Google phone is going to be your very best, native experience of it. The Pixel 6a ships with and runs stock Android 12, which will work exactly as Google intended it to.
Although the new phone only became available to buy on July 28, Google released a day one update with the Andriod 13 Beta. “We have provided the first security update for Pixel 6a. The rollout begins today and will continue over the next week in phases, depending on carrier networks. Users will receive a notification once the OTA becomes available for their device,” said Google. Impressively speedy. Oh, and Google guarantees a whole five years of security updates for the Pixel 6a, too.
3. The dual camera set-up
While the Pixel 6a misses out on the 50MP sensor (opens in new tab) seen in Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, we all know it’s not all about the MP count and the new phone still features a decent camera dual camera set-up. The 12.2MP f/1.7 main camera, is joined by a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide and the camera (and 8MP front-facing selfie camera) but that’s only part of the show with the most impressive part of the set-up coming from the software-side of the phone.
The Pixel 6a comes with Google’s Magic Eraser which lets you instantly remove items you don't in your photos, blending the scene back together perfectly. Real Tone feature helps you get accurate photos and there’s also Google's Super Res Zoom feature and Night Sight – for low light shooting.
4. It goes all day
The battery capacity on the Pixel 6a is 4,410mAh, which Google says will, thankfully, last for over a day of use – something that’s a struggle for phones with even bigger batteries thanks to the power-hungry apps and features we all love these days.
The new Google phone features a clever Adaptive Battery feature, which allows you to save power on the apps you rarely use, thus saving your phone’s battery power. There’s also an impressive 30W charge speed, so powering up won’t take long.(opens in new tab)
5. It's a looker
We couldn’t not mention how great the Google Pixel 6a looks! The Pixel 6 family are a great-looking unified bunch and as such the Pixel 6a happily looks very similar to the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
The distinct looking black rear camera bar contrasts to the phone’s body – available in sage, charcoal, and chalk – creating an eye-catching two-tone look. The Pixel 6a has a Gorilla Glass 3 display panel and the rear is made of tough plastic with a fingerprint-resistant coating. It also features IP67 protection, meaning it’s dust and water resistant, too.
A Google Pixel 6a review
Only time and real world use will tell whether the Google Pixel 6a is set to become one of the best Google phone (opens in new tab)s, but it certainly looks like it'll become a great budget phone (opens in new tab) for a lot of users.
We're currently testing the Google Pixel 6a – particularly its camera performance – and will bring you the full results very soon.